DHS Cyber Security Checklist

May 31st, 2019 by

The topic of cyber security covers many actions that, together, help to deter hackers and protect against

The topic of cyber security covers many actions that, together, help to deter hackers and protect against

viruses and other potential risks to the networked enterprise. This handout provides security tips, developed

by the Department of Homeland Security, to assist business managers in assessing and improving their

cyber security plans and procedures.


The key to effectively managing cyber security is to demonstrate top-level executive support, including:

Have you created security policies to match the size and culture of your business?

Are security policies written, enforced, and kept updated?

Have you established a computer software and hardware asset inventory list?

Have you classified data by its usage and sensitivity?

Have you established ownership of all data?

Information technology staff

IT personnel are on the front line when it comes to cyber security and are responsible for some key activities,


Are you maintaining configuration management through security policy implementation and systems hardening?

Are you maintaining software patch management on all systems by following a regular schedule for applying patches for

operating systems, specific software, and anti-virus updates?

Are you maintaining operational management through the reviewing of all log files, ensuring system backups with

periodic data restores (data restores should not be done unless a problem corrupted the live data), and reporting any known issues or risks?

Are you performing security testing through security audits and penetration scanning?

Are you ensuring physical security of systems and facilities?

Do you ensure users have anti-virus software loaded and active on systems?

End users

Some of the key activities that end users should address include:

Is anti-virus software loaded and active on computers?

Do you delete, without opening, e-mails from unknown sources?

Do you back-up data on a regular basis?

Do you utilize strong, difficult-to-compromise passwords?

Do you download and apply security patches?

Do you disconnect your computer from the Internet when not in use?

Do you restrict access to systems to authorized users only?

Are you suspicious of unsolicited contact from individuals seeking internal organizational data or personal information?

Do you verify a request’s authenticity by contacting the requesting entity or company directly?

Business continuity

In order to ensure continuity of business, proactive security measures must be taken and be part of daily operations,


Do you have an emergency response plan?

Have you systematically evaluated all of the potential sources of disruption to your business?

Do you have an active program to reduce the likelihood of a disruption?

If you could not re-enter the workplace because of an emergency, do you have a pre-determined location to meet to

coordinate recovery operations?

Do you maintain a current list of employees, customers, and suppliers at an off-site location?

Have you met with local emergency response groups to discuss their role in maintaining the business?

If you lost a critical system, do you have a pre-determined plan to restore the system?

Do you have an established business resumption team?

Is your business resumption plan securely stored in a remote location?

Do you periodically test your business resumption plan along with your site emergency response plan?

(All information provided is informational, you should consult your Insurance provider for data breach insurance details, and an IT Professional for proper security best practices)